Sacrificing concepts during practice.

BrandonGoodwin

Junior Member
Lots of great information here!

I would just add that when I read your original post about your practice routine, I see mostly technical exercises involving the hands, and little else that works towards playing infectious grooves. That is our main job as drummers and so I would allot a serious amount of time to this. New Breed, Future Sounds, Time Functioning Patters, The Commandments of R&B drumming, The Art of Bop Drumming, anything that Steve Gadd played on, check those things out as well and you'll be groovin' in no time!

Also, the way I find what I need to work on is that I record myself practicing, jamming with other people, and on gigs and then analyze what I'm doing. After a couple of minutes of listening it's quite clear as to what my weaknesses are and then I hit the shed and focus on those things. I take whatever exercises I'm working on at the time and apply them to my weaknesses.

Working on the same things every day for years won't yield the results you want. You need to grow not only your technique, but also your rhythmic vocabulary, which also, from my personal experience, comes from moving forward to work on new things on a regular basis, and not sitting on repetitive ideas forever.

Best of luck!
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Actually push-pull, this study that you've read, did it mention anything regarding the disparity between the concepts?

For example, as you've suggested, a buzz roll is vastly different than a half time shuffle at 60bpm.

Compare that to say playing a samba pattern spontaneously while laying down a basic jazz pattern.

I wonder if it's the degree of difference in concepts that improves musicality.
It didn’t get that deep into it, but I’m sure you’re right about that.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I've ben through periods of not following my own advice. That's about other stuff though. Work, mental health, legal stuff etc.. I shared some of it a while back. Basically, too tired and feeling too abused to focus.

Anyway.

Taking it slow I've made my own list of stuff to work on and it started something like this:

1) Practicing technical exercises only in 7.
2) Practicing coordination only in 5.
3) Working on fast swing.
4) If I do fall back into some old stuff I play with the click in other places than on the beat. I started by actually taking my RH away and playing with the click on the ands. Not as easy as it sounds, but a very healthy exercise.


First. I didn't loose any ability. I gained a lot of control.

Second. I'm doing lots of stuff that's considered advanced pretty effortlessly and in a creative way. Pretty much nails it in regards to the old "Nothing's hard, you're just not used to it."

I don't even spend 2 hours on the kit every day, but I have a bunch of short sessions on my little practice setup in addition.

Obviously, things have evolved the last few months, but this was the start of it.

Don't necessarily do the same thing every day. Actually I don't. I just keep a log and stay within the parameters I've set.
 
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bonsritmos

Junior Member
pretty much every day, i do what i call "the sequence".

its a bunch of ketu candomble rhythms and some other afro bahian rhythms that i have transferred to drumset.

i brought in a thread about the origins of rhythm and phrasing in jazz history and how ketu candomble rhythms are almost a blue print for the evolution of innovations rhythmicly in jazz history from joplin , jelly roll, armstrong , ellington , bird, miles, trane , wayne etc. there are powerful connections in grooves and phrasing in solos and melodies written by the masters. i call them ketu codes.

so , i play them left handed , right handed, i put a back beat on each one as well as with out one . differant tempos. the bass drum follows the bell sometimes but it also solos. these rhythms stand alone, not like lots of drum grooves that are better expressed with other instruments playing with them.

these beats have natural flams and ruffs ingraned and , i use flams to embelish and solo but always anchored by the groove. they call the solo in ketu "rum". so, it builds huge chops, it uses massive concept, and the foot gets educated to always go for groove so it starts to stick. i used to do a lot of rudimental tricks with hands and feet. but "the sequence" gives my chops all they need , to take right to the bandsand.

after a half hour or 45 minutes of this, i then go to mccoy tyner super trios and the up from sahara and elza soares hard sambas for a great workout hopefully to match the high intensity live playing. of course any gig that has stuff i have to work on gets priority, but i book most of my gigs so "the sequence " is the priority
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It's sort of the same thing I do. The frame can be anything. A set of rhythms, an ethnic style or as on my case right now playing in 5/8.

Working through all the traditional stuff. All sorts of stickings, ostinatos, reading, timing exercises, left handed, open handed, trad grip, matched grip. It gets to be a complete technical workout, but it's really a focused musical approach.

I make a point out of playing and improvising, but focusing on incorporating the current concept, clean transitions and good feel.

Am I loosing any facility doing this? Well, I might not be able to do some old static exercises as fast as I once did, but it's important to remember that those exercises are there to help your playing, not the other way around. I've experienced heaps of gains in gards to flow, control and creativity. My technique is also geared towards my instrument, the drumset, not a single surface.

Smartest thing i ever did, after finding a pad that worked(Xymox laminate in my case), was getting the L80 ride and hi-hat + a pad that worked for the BD pedal. It's only those four pieces. I took the other stuff away, but it makes it so I can sit down at home pretty quietly an work on ride technique, independence etc... When I do some "TV practice" I don't just go at it on the pad, but I can work on hi-hat splashed, left hand matched grip on the ride, whatever... Switching the hi-hat stand and ride for left handed playing takes seconds, too. Different surface? I find standing up and playing on the back of the ride to work pretty well.
 
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feldiefeld

Senior Member
Ben -
I am not that into a ridgid routine when I practice. I also think, like Larry, that you should not think about what you’re not working on when you decide to work on a specific skill....that’s simply not relevant. It’s a waste of time and only causes anxiety. Instead, think about what your goals are as a drummer. If you think about specific goals and evaluate how far away you are from them, you can figure out a plan to reach them. Consider getting a teacher to help you. Looking at how to practice without considering your goals seems pointless. And it’s OK for them to be YOUR goals. If you don’t like jazz, you don’t have to work on it. Work on the styles and skills that are going to helpful to you and the kind of playing you would like to do.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
... Instead, think about what your goals are as a drummer. If you think about specific goals and evaluate how far away you are from them, you can figure out a plan to reach them...

I agree completly with you BUT the point is most drummers DON´T KNOW THEIR GOALS if they are begginners or "intermediate" (even if they think they do), they don´t have an understanding of music to really know that, MUCH LESS how to reach them...(even if they know)...there is where a DRUMTEACHER (but not anyone) is desicive...

Most just loose their time... (and buy gear)
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I personally think people spend too much time working on shit and honing things that they're already good at.

It will vary from situation to situation, but I think lots of players could benefit from less repetition and more focus on the things they aren't good at... The stuff that sounds terrible, the styles you can't play. Endlessly refining things based on a literal "list" that you have to get through every day to feel like you're progressing always struck me as weird... Like giving yourself homework or something when you could be focusing on just making music and working on the most applicable and helpful things.

Not sure why I'm putting this out there... It's usually what pops into my head whenever someone posts a thread like this asking where the "holes" in their practice routines are or how many things they "have" to practice.
 

BrandonGoodwin

Junior Member
I personally think people spend too much time working on shit and honing things that they're already good at.

It will vary from situation to situation, but I think lots of players could benefit from less repetition and more focus on the things they aren't good at... The stuff that sounds terrible, the styles you can't play. Endlessly refining things based on a literal "list" that you have to get through every day to feel like you're progressing always struck me as weird... Like giving yourself homework or something when you could be focusing on just making music and working on the most applicable and helpful things.

Not sure why I'm putting this out there... It's usually what pops into my head whenever someone posts a thread like this asking where the "holes" in their practice routines are or how many things they "have" to practice.

WOW! You read my mind and put it in such a clear manner.

It's much less daunting when you just focus on your weaknesses and focus on making good music, rather than keeping lists of things you need to "keep in shape". I rarely check my bpm maximums, usually only when challenged by a student. Mostly I work on how to turn rudiments & technical concepts into musical ideas.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
I THINK after a lot of feedback from the forum and support and advice from Todd Bishop......... I may be understanding practice principles a lot better.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
That routine is actually jam packed. I think you could combine a lot of that INTO a concept.

Don't try and play many pages of grooves and many pages of stick control. I'd pick one or 2 grooves and pick one pattern out of stick control to make a concept to stay on for a while.

Or when you doing rudiments on the kit. say paradiddles. Use that as a concept. Start your fills on the and of 2, yet see how many different ways you can play a paraiddle. Subdivisions, displacement etc. You can be working on a groove, rudiments, your time, ghost notes etc.

I often combine a few things I want to work on, but rather than go all over the place limit it to 1 thing in each category to get it TIGHT.

Playing 3 or 4 patterns I can make 1000's of fills that sound pretty bada$$. using groups of 5 and also the same groups of 5 as triplets I can make some pretty choppy things happen too. When you move it around and change the subdivision it sounds like I am doing a ton, but it's only 1 or 2 patterns I have played for a LONG time.... Many people will try and cram 30 rudiments into their playing and not be comfortable with it.

That is the key. Those patterns I have spend hours/days/months on just happen. I don't think about them when I am playing because it is in muscle memory. Once you get to that point and start working on a second until that point, I work on making them flow in and out of each other. I try and switch them at different points too.


Sometimes I'll just sit at the kit and groove for 2 hours. Other days i'll play 2 hours of linear chops. I combine what I NEED to work on with what I WANT to work on as well.

2 hours a day is plenty and you will improve fast. I think that routine looks great if you are having fun with it.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Two hours a day is plenty of time if you simply don't practice the same things every single day. You could literally double what you practice simply by alternating between two routines, one each day.
 
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SmoothOperator

Gold Member
IMO its better to pick a trick and stick with it, and add tricks as necessary, rather than appeal to some arbitrary theory of general techniques.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
I actually felt 2 things change, albeit very subtle.

First......my sense of timing through the buzz roll really locked in to the click

Second.......I felt my grip become more relaxed but I had more control of the stick.
Same thing happened to me recently. It was a bit unnerving at first - like burying the click for the first time.

I was talking with the OP Ben on the phone about this, and wrote up some of what we talked about in a blog post.
Thanks for blog. I enjoyed the article and got a lot out of it (a great approach to Syncopation).

One question, who would you recommend 4-Way Coordination to? You seem to hold it in high regard, so I'm wondering maybe it's geared towards a particular type of student. I've been working through it for the better part of a year now, and I recently started the first page of 2-limb harmonic coordination. It's challenging, rewarding and one of my favourite books, s'm interested in hearing your take on it.



BTW, great thread Ben - some of the stalwarts on the forum are in top form here. I've had it on the back-burner for a couple of weeks now, and I've referred back to it while I revamped my practice routine during my (literal) break. I've been back at it for a couple of weeks now and, well, the above happened. So, thanks man.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
One question, who would you recommend 4-Way Coordination to? You seem to hold it in high regard, so I'm wondering maybe it's geared towards a particular type of student. I've been working through it for the better part of a year now, and I recently started the first page of 2-limb harmonic coordination. It's challenging, rewarding and one of my favourite books, s'm interested in hearing your take on it.
I'm not that wild about it. The jazz section is ok for advanced jazz students. The rest of it is good for people who are practicing a lot-- or who have practiced a lot-- and therefore have time to work on something really hard, that doesn't relate much to normal playing, that you have to figure out what to do with.

Even then, I think there are better ways of doing what it does. Like I had to basically rewrite the "harmonic" coordination section using Reed and/or Stone. I've written a lot about how to practice it.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
BTW, great thread Ben - some of the stalwarts on the forum are in top form here. I've had it on the back-burner for a couple of weeks now, and I've referred back to it while I revamped my practice routine during my (literal) break. I've been back at it for a couple of weeks now and, well, the above happened. So, thanks man.
Hey beatdat.......this thread could make for a good resource for anyone who gets lost in their practice routine and needs to refresh themselves.

The initial intent of this thread was to see what guys consider to be more important concepts to cover in their routine and what things guys tend to "sacrifice", especially with limited time.

But it kind of morphed into an analysis of my OWN routine.

I got some very honest responses and I had to do some soul searching with a few tears when chatting about it with my girlfriend.

So I've minimised the wastage in my practice, I've gotten down to the real useable, realistic concepts of my playing and I am really focussing on some sticking patterns from Todd Bishop.

My practice also now involves far more musical applications to any concept.

But I'm glad it has been helpful, I guess if my input on DW helps just ONE other member.....then I'd call this a successful thread.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
Lots of “sticking” advice here but short on footwork. Don’t forget to tie in your basic foot groove patterns which makes for more interdependence and syncopation possibilities with your “handiwork.” You get to figure out the diff between playing 1-3 vs. 2-4, especially when ghosting notes or ending fills etc..
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Lots of “sticking” advice here but short on footwork. Don’t forget to tie in your basic foot groove patterns which makes for more interdependence and syncopation possibilities with your “handiwork.” You get to figure out the diff between playing 1-3 vs. 2-4, especially when ghosting notes or ending fills etc..
Mm-hmm. I always start my practice session with slow linear stuff between hands and feet. I feel like being able to play really fast linear stuff, while not especially useful on most gigs, is extremely helpful in developing the kind of precise timing that lets even the groove-challenged develop good, deep pocket feel.
 
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